What do you get when you cross a professional writer with a passion for dating and relationships? This!
Evan Marc Katz review: Why Love U by Evan Marc Katz made me angry
Elly Klein: Love U graduate, Class of 2015
American dating coach, Evan Marc Katz, has been helping people find love for well over a decade. But the second half of 2015 was the first time he ever ran his 6-month dating and relationship course, Love U – the ‘U’ standing for university, as the course is so comprehensive. And I was one of 250 women in his inaugural intake of students and graduates. We were his willing Love U guinea pigs.
Who is Evan Marc Katz and why is he so handsome*?
* I can only answer the first part of that question – you’ll have to ask his wife about the second part.
Evan is a warm, funny, incredibly open and unapologetically honest Jewish atheist (like me!) from Long Island, New York. He’s been based in Los Angeles since he completed his studies at Duke University, as his dream career as a youngster was to be a screenwriter. Life took him in a different direction – a better direction – as life tends to do, and he ended up as a dating coach for ‘smart, strong, successful women’. He’s married to a nice Catholic girl from Southern California who’s a few years older than him, and has two young kids – a girl and a boy.
How Evan changed my life before I even spent a cent with him
Tens of thousands of singles from all over the world read Evan’s blog twice a week (2016 update: he now has an awesome podcast and YouTube videos), but I first discovered him when I read Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb (2010), which originated as a magazine article in The Atlantic (2008). His practical, down-to-earth advice helped me into my last relationship. And even though that relationship didn’t work out, I felt it was very much a step in the right direction for me. I was finally choosing men for the right reasons (ie. character) instead of the wrong reasons (ie. chemistry). (To be clear, that doesn’t mean chemistry isn’t important. It is! But not as important as character. And so many of us accept sub-par behaviour and treatment when we value chemistry over character.) After my breakup, I got hooked on his awesome blog (where you can search for the topic you want to learn more about), bought one of his books and then signed up for Love U when it came along a few months later.
Why Love U is only for women – and why it shouldn’t be
Love U is for women only. Why? Well, according to Evan, women are much more likely to seek out a dating coach than men (and the reality is you can’t have a business without paying customers). It’s a shame, but in general, women want to give themselves the absolute best chance of finding and keeping love, while men want to give themselves the absolute best chance of picking up. So, most dating coaches for men are pick-up artists. Evan’s not a pick-up artist. He’s into relationships and marriage, so that’s what his coaching practice is based around. Also, as a man who went on around 300 dates over 10 years, mostly thanks to online dating, before he met his wife, he feels he’s able to help women understand men better, stop wasting time on the wrong guys, and start focusing on the right guys. Having said that, most of his advice is gender-neutral, and on the occasions he coaches men, he says he gives them pretty much the exact same advice as he gives us gals. He has also absorbed almost every book, article and statistic on dating, relationships and marriage in his time as a dating coach, and has created practical steps for finding and keeping a loving life partner.
The deliciously comprehensive Love U curriculum
The Love U curriculum consists of 6 modules that take you right through from bitter singlehood to a happy marriage. The modules are broken down as follows:
♥ Past Baggage
♥ ‘Why Bother’ Syndrome
♥ Take Action
♥ Meeting Men
♥ Online Dating
♥ First Dates
♥ Staying Cool
♥ Being Selective
♥ Becoming Exclusive
♥ Boyfriend Material
♥ Masculine & Feminine Energy
♥ Alpha Males & Beta Males
♥ Understanding Men
♥ How to Talk with Men
♥ Should I Stay or Should I Go?
♥ Jealousy & Cheating
♥ Being a Great Girlfriend
♥ Breaking Up
♥ Wants Vs Needs
For the Class of 2015, this was countless hours of video content plus exercises and resources, weekly group coaching calls (which were recorded) and an online community (ie. a forum where we could post our dating and relationship dilemmas, and Evan and the other women would offer support and guidance). Evan is now offering the course – videos and materials – alone, with the community and coaching calls as optional add-ons. The price will make it more accessible for more women, which is great. But the coaching calls and community really helped me to absorb the material so that I ‘got it’ and it became second nature. I’m really glad that, for me, it was just one, big investment. Totally worth it.
My Love U experience and why Evan wanted to throttle me
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved Love U. I found every second of every video riveting – Evan is a great speaker. What he says is so practical, how he says it is so down-to-earth, and his honesty, especially about his own dating experiences and marriage, is so refreshing. (Special thanks to his wonderful wife who allows him to be so candid.) His listening skills and ability to think on his feet and handle any woman’s question on the coaching calls was nothing short of astounding. And the community was where we all bared our souls, and I made a ton of new friends from all over the world – I now have pals in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Boulder, Toronto, Vancouver, Taipei and Melbourne. We covered a lot of ground, and Evan and I butted heads on more than one occasion. We’re both extremely similar and never back down from a robust debate. I’m sure there were a few instances in which he wanted to reach through the screen and choke me Homer / Bart Simpson-style. But it was all good. While we’ll never agree on absolutely everything, we still respect and admire each other.
Why Love U made me angry – like, super grr!
So, by now, you’re probably wondering why Love U made me angry. Well, I got so much out of it, it made me extremely angry that these principles aren’t taught, or at least discussed, in schools – or anywhere, really. Why, oh why, do we learn two-thirds of f*ck-all about how to find and keep a loving partner with whom to form a lifelong union and, in most cases, have children? Doesn’t it make you steaming mad that one of the most pivotal aspects of a human being’s happiness – success in dating and relationships – isn’t covered in our educational institutions? Don’t you just want to tear your hair out when you think about the fact that we spend more time on calculus than we do on communication? Unless you’re going to be an engineer, you don’t need calculus. But everyone needs to engineer his or her own life. And life is all about relationships, so communication and conflict resolution skills are essential. Everyone needs to know what qualities to look for in a partner. Everyone could benefit from understanding what makes a modern marriage work. We don’t all have to agree. But we need to start somewhere. We need to open up a dialogue. We need to be equipped with knowledge. We need to have some semblance of control over this aspect of our lives. Or as writer/author Mark Manson puts it: “Because when you’re in bed dying of nutsack cancer, you’re not thinking about how Napoleon got over-zealous in Russia or how the Meiji Restoration totally changed the face of Asian geopolitics or how organic compounds are conspiring to make your brain rot. You’re thinking about the ones you’ve loved in your life and the ones you’ve lost. Many things make for a happy life, but few things have as much influence and impact as our relationships do. Learning how to not stumble through them like a drunken asshole and how to exercise some conscious control of how you express your emotions and intimacy is possibly the most life-changing skillset I’ve ever come across.” Touche, Mark!
How Love U has helped me both personally and professionally
So, how has my love life changed for the better since completing Love U? In the time between graduating from the course and meeting my partner (more about him in a moment!), I felt much more in control of the dating and relationship process. I felt more comfortable about being single, meeting men online, going on dates, becoming exclusive, being a great girlfriend and hopefully, someday, a wonderful wife, while ensuring my relationship needs are being met. All men were on a level playing field with me until I got to know them. If we had an initial spark, that was nice, but I waited to see how things unfolded. If we didn’t have an initial spark, but I liked him as a person, he treated me well and was interested in spending more time with me, I waited to see if the spark developed. According to Evan, couples should date for 2 – 3 years, with a crack at living together in the 2nd or 3rd year, before deciding whether or not to commit to a life together ie. get married. It’s just too easy to be swept up by chemistry and the so-called ‘just know’ feeling when you’re in the early stages of getting to know someone. As for online dating, there’s an art to it. And even though I’d done loads of it, had great success with it, write dating profiles professionally and mentor my clients so they get the absolute most out of their new dating profile, there’s always room for improvement. Love U took it to another level for me.
How Love U didn’t help me – but might help YOU
In some instances, Love U was preaching to the converted. For instance: 1. I was never a bitter single who’d given up on love. I always knew dating was the process by which we find love, and the moment we stop dating is the moment we’re almost guaranteeing we’ll never end up in a happy, healthy relationship or marriage. 2. I always knew when to move on from relationships that just weren’t working, rather than clinging on. As Evan says, ‘You don’t stay in a relationship because it WAS good. You stay in a relationship because it IS good.’ That might sound obvious, but you name one person who hasn’t stayed in a relationship at least a little longer than they should have. Evan reframed breaking up as an important part of the dating process – not a failure. The longer you’re with the wrong person, the longer you’re putting off sharing your life with the right person. 3. I always knew how to trust my partner (speaking of trust, this story is a doozie) and allow him to talk to and flirt with other women, catch up with female friends, and remain in contact with his exes, especially as this is how I like to live. I’m extremely loyal, but I enjoy talking to and flirting with men, I have loads of male friends, and I like to be on the best of terms with my exes if possible. But these were novel concepts for some of the other students. Naturally, everyone’s going to get something different out of such a comprehensive course.
Love U: Your one-stop dating and relationship education shop
So, while there are countless articles, books and dating coaches out there, I feel Love U by Evan Marc Katz is a one-stop-shop for your dating and relationship education. The fact is there are best practices for finding and maintaining a loving relationship, and it’d help us immensely, both as individuals and as a society, if we all knew what they were. Just because some random friend had a drunken one-night stand that resulted in a happy marriage doesn’t mean that’s a good way to go about finding love. As Evan often says, ‘A broken clock is right twice a day.’ Some people just get lucky, and the rules don’t apply. So, where does that leave the rest of us? In need of some formal guidance, that’s where!
Evan is one of the reasons I’m FINALLY in a healthy, blissfully happy relationship
Early 2018: My partner, David, and I have been together for over two years, living together for a year, and planning to get married in 2019, so stay tuned! (We’re not engaged yet, so that’ll be a fun surprise when the time is right.) I believe Love U played a significant role in us finding each other online and nurturing our relationship so that it’s always fun, easy and stable, and continues to grow, blossom and deepen over time. So far, my two years with David have been the best two years of my life. I was 38 when I met him. It was a long wait. I’d never had a long-term relationship or marriage before. Why anyone would ever give up on looking for love is beyond me. If you want it, you can have it. You just have to invest time, energy and resources into it and keep going until you find the happiness you’ve been looking for. It’s worth it!